Celebrating Women: Female firefighter and paramedic shares glimpse into life of a hometown hero

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A call that springs firefighter and paramedic Kayla Jones into action. “Every day is different. You never have the same day twice,” says Jones, a part of the Moline Fire Department.

Helping people has always been on Jones’ horizon, but she didn’t imagine it would be like this. 

“I’d never saw a female fireman when i was growing up. It never even crossed my mind that it was a job opportunity for me until it fell into my lap basically.”

It was a college course that set the 24-year-old in the direction of becoming a town hero. 

“The college I was at offered an EMT class and I took it and just fell in love.”

With four years of EMT expertise and six months of firefighter experience, Jones is the fourth female to serve at the Moline Fire Department since their first female hire back in 2004. The male-dominated field isn’t getting to her.

“We all do the same job we are all in this for the same reason. It just so happens that I’m a female,” says Jones.

That sentiment is shared by her collegue firefighter and paramedic Sawyer Claus.

“It’s getting out of that age where a male-dominated career- people are starting to, you know, a new era where people will do what they want. Anybody can do it, as long are you’re physically fit and determined. It’s a great career for anybody.”

Jones’ will to keep on pushing forward is in part to her support system back at home and her mother.

“I do have a sense of pride knowing that I am a female in this industry. She’ll randomly text me and remind me how proud she is that I’m serving my community,” shares Jones. 

Her advice for the little girls wanting to be hometown heroes? 

“They can do anything that the men can do. They’re just as strong and as long as this is what they want they’ll achieve it.”

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